Possible ZA Explorer Bug

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by zarzenz, Aug 22, 2004.

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  1. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    I'm currently using ZA 5.1 and may have found a possible bug on my WINME system.

    I never used to get any problems when booting up, but since using the above version (but I can't be absolutely sure if it completely coincided with this version install) I now sometimes (maybe 50% of boot ups) get the following error message.

    Explorer has caused an error in <unknown>. Explorer will now close. If you continue to experience problems try re-starting your computer.

    If I just ok the message... everything works fine.

    I then set about to disable all non essential startups in msconfig, and only when I stopped the ZA program from auto starting did I seem to stop this error. But I had to leave the True Vector startup otherwise ZA would not function correctly with a X in the tray icon after manual start. So all I have to do now is boot up with True Vector and then click the ZA quick launch to bring the program to life before net activity is entered into.

    So my question is... is this a known problem with this version at the moment which I see from other threads seems to be buggy. Has anyone else had this Explorer error on boot up with ZA auto starting fully.

    Any suggestions if ZA is not the cause (even though using this method of booting over a few days has not given the error once... yet) as to what else may be the cause of the error would be most welcome.
     
  2. tazdevl

    tazdevl Registered Member

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    ZA 5.1 is still pretty buggy. I'm not surprised you're having a problem.

    I'd recommend backing up your settings, uninstalling ZA using the followng methid:

    Go to program menu, ZA folder, right click on the ZA uninstall icon, go into properties, on the shortcut tab you'll see the following:

    "C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zauninst.exe"

    change it to

    "C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zauninst.exe" /clean

    this will completely uninstall ZA and clear out the registry.

    Install ZA 4.5, import your settings and you should be fine.

    FYI supposedly there's an update coming out in a couple weeks. I'd wait a week

    It has yet to be demonstrated that ZA5 is even worth the upgrade, it doesn't offer more protection or enhanced privacy functionality. The only thing it does offer is more bloat in the form of a useless AV checker and a couple other marginal features.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004
  3. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks tazdevl,

    Yes I think that my be the best thing to do, and it would also give me a chance to see if my suspicion regarding 5.1 being the cause of the error to be verifeid... one way or another.

    I don't think I've ever seen this suggestion of putting the /clean on the uninstall shortcut before, so if this is all is needed for a complete ZA clean removal, I'm suprised that there seems to be so much confusion about having to remove loads of stuff manually in the folders and registry etc... nice one.

    Only one question... not too sure about how to backup the settings.

    From a search I just did, it seems the settings are located in the Internet Logs folder. Not too sure how I would go about doing the export/import... unless it's simply a matter of saving the file (not too sure which one in there) and then replacing said file after the fresh install with the saved one. Otherwise I don't mind giving permissions in the new install as required, as I don't have too many programs allowed anyway.

    Also... whilst in the Logs folder, I noticed lots of files... such as xDB****.TMP. Are these also being generated by ZA, and what for.

    I have my logs setting in ZA logs prefs settings unchecked, as I didn't want lots of logs building up, but now I'm wondering where all these temp files are coming from.
     
  4. tazdevl

    tazdevl Registered Member

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    Sorry, should have asked if you were using the free or paid version. Might not be able to back up your settings with the free version.

    Under Overview, Preferences there should be an option to backup/restore security settings. Not sure if it's in the free version of ZA.

    The /clean switch is something not a lot of folks know about,
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004
  5. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    That's ok... I should have mentioned I was using the free version.

    I had a look in the prefs and can't see that option so it's as you said... not possible on the free one.

    It's not a problem... I'll just allow what I need to go through.

    I've just downloaded the 4.5 again... so now I'll do the uninstall using your clean switch method. It will be very interesting to see how this goes. I wonder why more folks don't know about this because there seems to be lots of things listed when advice is given about uninstalling ZA... like folders and registry entries to be taken out manually etc... so this clean switch is gonna be so much easier... thanks so much for the info about this.

    Anyway... I'll see how it goes now.
     
  6. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Thanks so much tazdevl,

    I just completed the whole uninstall/reinstall process with no problems at all, and I have done a few reboots with the ZA 4.5 now set to auto start and had no errors at all so far.

    I'll need to see how it goes over the next few days... but I just got this feeling that this was the problem... 99% certain in fact.

    Why the heck did ZA start messing about with a program that was working fine in 4.5 and then release that heap of junk in 5.1.

    Ok... I should now better... sometimes these bugs don't show in beta tests, but they don't half cause problems for folks that may not wish to start going deep into these things... I kinda like the challenge... and with guys like you around, along with all the other guys and gals here on Wilders... well... it just makes the whole experience so much easier and actually quite satisfying and enjoyable for a few minutes work.

    Thanks again for that /clean switch tip... the uninstaller even confirmed it was gonna do the clean uninstall routine... I've never seen this written before, but it sure made the whole process very painless indeed.

    Excellent result... and I'm very pleased. :) :cool:
     
  7. tazdevl

    tazdevl Registered Member

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    More than happy to help.

    I think the problem with ZA more than anything was that there wasn't a sufficient amount of testing that happened before 5.x was sent to the internal beta group, the internal beta group was probably too small and the beta period was too short, then the external beta (users like you and I) didn't last long enough and the ZA Product Manager didn't prioritize feedback correctly, so things that were most likely significant bugs were put at the bottom of the list and didn't get fixed before the final version was released.

    Hopefully that guy lost his job because I will have to say that ZA lost a fair number of corporate and individual customers with this release. It's going to cost them a fair bit of $$ to reacquire them. Having been a product manager and now work has a Product Management/Marketing Consultant, all I have to say is that I would be embarassed if this was my product.

    To top it off ZA support has gone from bad to worse and the a$$hats they hired to work in support don't forward issues to devs like they should. Instead they seem to think that not reading detailed support requests from customers (increases the duration for bug resports to make it to the developers (hurts them) and frustration for customers (bad for them because it affects perception of the company/product) and sending an autoresponse is OK.

    Here's the URL for the official ZL forum, though I will have to say that I haven't found them to be of much use and in general, you'll get more help here than there.
    http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004
  8. ZaItAgain

    ZaItAgain Guest

    Another good place for info when trying to figure out how to uninstall ZA 5.x and/or problems associated therewith:

    http://don.hoover.net/index.html

    He's a pontificating and proclaimed ZA guru (I like the sound of that!) and has a good handle on how to load and unload this software.
     
  9. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    I totally agree. Zone Labs forum offers some useful information. But sometimes their loyalty to Zone Alarm comes at the cost of good common sense. Users should never, ever have to put up with a lot of what I've heard on that forum. There is just no excuse for Zone Labs. :oops: :mad:

    I am holding tight to my 4.5 and may move on if something were to happen to the copy on my machine. Just not restore it.
     
  10. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

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    Hi... just to update,

    I've done loads of reboots now and also put most of my original startups back... and I've had no errors at all, so I'm now 99.5% certain that this problem is fixed.

    As it happens... when I was doing a Google search for any info on this problem over the last few days... before I decided to get to the bottom of it myself... I noticed quite a lot of recent queries regarding this Explorer error that seemed to be asked all over the net, so I wouldn't mind betting a fair proportion of these could be linked to this ZA bug, without the folks realising it... so if any people out there are having this error on WINME and you recently installed ZA 5.1... then this may well be why, as it was for me.

    Thanks again for all the help given here.
     
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